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Professional Negligence Case Study 3
Bell Lax were instructed by a young man with severe learning difficulties in relation to a professional negligence claim against his previous firm of solicitors under a no win, no fee agreement.
Our client had originally tried to bring a claim for educational negligence against his local council. Whilst our client was assessed by an Educational Psychologist she failed to identify that he had Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyspraxia and learning difficulties. This meant that his needs were not properly identified and he did not receive the correct support at school. Our client was subsequently bullied at school and became socially withdrawn. This impacted upon his educational achievement and he later developed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Our client initially instructed a firm of solicitors to bring the educational negligence claim. However, they failed to issue the claim in time and he was unable to continue with the claim against the local council. Our client therefore instructed a second firm of solicitors to bring a professional negligence claim against the first firm of solicitors. The second firm of solicitors also failed to issue a claim in time, meaning that he could no longer sue the first firm of solicitors for loss of opportunity to bring the education negligence claim against the local council. Finally, he instructed us to bring a professional negligence claim against the second firm of solicitors.
The claim raised complex issues of quantum and causation as it was very difficult to identify the likely outcome for our client had he received the appropriate support at school. The Defendant argued that due to our client’s learning difficulties he would always have struggled at school and found it difficult to obtain employment.
Despite this, we were able to negotiate a significant settlement to compensate our client for the trauma he sustained at school and his loss of earnings due to his difficulty gaining employment upon leaving school.